What will 2006 Be Like?   It's Up to You to Make It Successful!
November 5, 2005 by Bruce Berton


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By:  Bruce S. Berton

If it walks like duck, swims like a duck, and looks like duck, must it be a duck?

If our genius analysts (both macro and micro economists) predict gloom and doom, most likely it will happen or at least point in that direction.

The stock market, which is a very sensitive barometer, is used by many of these so-called experts. The stock market makes up about one-third of our economy, but both small and large private businesses and ultimately the consumer make up the other two thirds of our economic growth, plus or minus.

I read another analysis wherein another genius predicted that if the displays at the retailers are boring and do not excite the consumers, then the holiday business for this year and continuing in 2006 will be less than spectacular and a recession might set in.

We will be getting a new Federal Reserve Chairman to replace Mr. Green-span, and this might trigger a slower 2006.

The value of the U.S. dollar is down, so you are spending more off shore, whether for purchasing of product or getting less pure tourism vacation dollars.

Two of our airlines are in bankruptcy, and I hear that GM could possibly be entering into bankruptcy. The political arena has rarely experienced such a divided right and left wing screaming match as in our present situation, that the 'sky is Falling!

All of the above and much more is being screamed loud and often enough by the media so that these genius analysts will make it happen!

I call all these people the white socks gang, three-piece suits with white gym socks. They have never been on a retail selling floor, worked in a factory, never had the responsibility to employ workers, and obtained all of their knowledge in the classroom.

We are capitalistic society, and we have the flexibility to move or change on very short notice. We have YANKEE INGENUITY in a very volatile marketplace. We are all hands-on entrepreneurs and survivors!  We have learned to focus and market to the consumer and how to attack their spending methods. All we have to do to be successful is to have the right merchandise in the right place at the right price in the right color and the right size!  It sounds difficult, but we have been doing it for years!

Today it takes hard work, research and focused relationships with your customers.  Marketing is key today, and since our communications are so sophisticated compared to past history, you can be profitable and have growth that has potential.

So, if you have done your homework, if you have put the correct infrastructure into your team management, and have not only sold your product, but delivered it on time as specified, the consumer will recognize the value and make the purchase. In today's market you have to get out and sell, sell, sell, and give all the customer service required, and you are expected to try even harder.

I see these new TV shows like The Apprentice, and in most of these programs not one of those young people could work for me, especially with their self-centered attitudes and management styles. You must constantly teach the skills to your management team. In some cases, these skills can be outsourced to professionals that have been put through the ringer.

You must take the time to project ahead so that you can conduct proper forecasting in all areas of HR as well as product needs. The professionals at Stonefield Josephson have the experience in many industrial sectors to do realistic Hands On projections to help make you successful season after season.

Holiday selling starts this month.  Have a successful Holiday Season and make the analysts re-think their duck analogy!

The consumer is voting at the cash register.  I believe that you are professionals, that you are capable of a profitable Holiday Season, and that you can create the momentum to carry forward into 2006.

P.S.  This Halloween Monday, the Retail Kings just found out that September/october sales are much better than expected!   Trick or Treat!!  You can have a tremendous treat in 2006.

Bruce S. Berton is a business and management consultant with Stonefield Josephson, Inc., a leading regional consulting and accounting firm with offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Mexico City. The information in this column is of a general nature.  Readers inquiries are welcome; and may be sent to Bruce Berton, at Stonefield Josephson, Inc., 2049 Century Park East Suite 400 Los Angeles, California 90067 310-432-7437 Direct
866-225-4511 Toll Free
310-432-7519 Fax Los Angeles
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